- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 29, 2007

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Noble: John Dreves, who helps students who helped him by redeeming thousands of cans and funding their Paradise, Mich., sports program.

Before his open-heart surgery in 2002, Mr. Dreves helped coach and referee basketball games at Whitefish Township School in the upper peninsula hamlet of Paradise. The operation led to a serious infection; Mr. Dreves spent almost three weeks in a coma. Students from Whitefish sent him cards and posters in the hospital; he credits their help as he conquered the medical complications.

No longer able to coach, Mr. Dreves began collecting and returning recyclables and donating the money to the schools’ makeshift sports program. He meticulously drains and sorts the cans, which he gathers from drop-off locations he has set up around town or from scanning the roads. He then distributes them to a number of local collection stores. The 10 cents per can may not seem like much, but Mr. Dreves has collected more than $88,000.

With only 55 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, the soccer, basketball and volleyball teams are co-ed. The tiny gym, which doubles as a cafeteria, can barely hold spectators without interfering with the game. But with Mr. Dreves’ donations, the kids now have things like new uniforms and a ref stand for the volleyball court.

For giving back to the children in his community, John Dreves is the Noble of the Week.

Knave: The Islamic Republic of Iran, the terror-fomenting mullahcracy that has accused Canada, of all countries, of human-rights violations.

Just before hardline Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited New York this week, Iran published a 70-page booklet, “Report on Human Rights Situation in Canada.” This document of supreme irony accuses the Canadian government of “den[ying] its people food, clean water and the right to work.” Canada is accused of unlawful arrests, beatings and, most incredibly, given the source, violating the rights of women.

Pigs will fly when Iran becomes the world’s women-right’s watchdog, and so it is very clear what’s going on here. Iran believes that human-rights reports are simply tools of geopolitical vengeance, and it thinks it is entitled to some action. Some context: Last year, Canada condemned Iran for its human-rights violations.

One lesson here is this regime does not understand the point of human-rights reports. Iran’s history of horrific human-rights violations, among the worst on the planet, entails countless dissidents and religious leaders arrested and tortured; all forms of media subjected to government censorship; and women treated as if they aren’t human beings.

Consistency and self-perception have never been strong points of radical Islamist governments, so no one should be surprised. Even so, this example is extreme.

For a most hypocritical denunciation, the Islamic Republic of Iran is the Knave of the Week.

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